International Women's Day is a reason for big celebrations in Moldova. On this day, women are celebrated and receive gifts, but for most of the year they still face unequal conditions. However, the situation is gradually improving. Last year, for example, Moldova elected its first-ever woman president. Daniela Dohotaru-Grițcan from Caritas Czech Republic in Moldova describes what is life like for women in Moldovan society.
Caritas Czech Republic is improving health and social care in Moldova. According to official statistics, 80% of the staff in the health and social sector in the Republic of Moldova are women. That is why our projects are no exception.
Life is not easy for women in Moldova, as they still often face discrimination when looking for a job because of their gender. Did you know that Moldova, like many other post-Soviet countries, has a detailed list of jobs that are prohibited for women? Daniela Dohotaru-Grițcan, who works at Caritas Czech Republic in Moldova as a project assistant, tells us more about the life of women in her country.
What is it like to be a woman in Moldovan society?
Difficult, but not impossible. Women still face prejudices. Mainly in the fact that the society underestimates their skills and potential to hold leadership positions. However, women in Moldova also struggle with their own doubts, usually do not have high self-confidence and do not believe that they could do another job or advance to a higher position in their career.
However, the society has changed and is changing every day and step by step more women are becoming entrepreneurs, leaders, decision makers, taking high position in state – for example since last year for the first time in Moldova’s history we have a woman president.
There are statistically more women than men working in health and social services in Moldova. Why is it?
There are also a lot women working in Caritas' projects in Moldova. Why are women important for Caritas’ work in the country?
In my opinion, the benefit of women is that we look at problems from multiple angles, and as a result we have a different approach to the overall view of projects. More perspectives can stimulate creativity and innovation and help organizations discover and seize new opportunities. According to research, women are better at perceiving non-verbal stimuli. I therefore believe that the presence of women in work teams will help to improve work processes and encourage group cooperation.
Is the International Women’s Day celebrated in Moldova? How?
As in majority of post-Soviet countries, International Women’s Day is celebrated and it is actually an important holiday in Moldova. This day serves as a fair opportunity to compliment with flowers and other presents the most dear women in our lives - mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, beloved ones. Officially, this is a day-off, so everyone can relax and take a rest. Over the last 20 years it has also been a day when women are recognized not only for their achievements, but also for changes when it comes to gender equality.
What would you like to wish to other women on International Women's Day?
I wish all women to be themselves and not to change for anyone. So that if they decide to change, they do so only because they want to become a better version of themselves. I wish women to believe in their dreams and never give up on dreaming.
Caritas Czech Republic has been working in Moldova since 2004. We are helping to develop the home care sector in the country. We improve health and social services and contribute to their modernization. We have already opened 10 centers that provide these services and equipped them with the necessary equipment. At the same time, we support services for people who need long-term care and train health and social workers who help these people.